Mend it or Mulch it

Following my success with patching N’s leggings, I’ve been making good progress with the mending this month. Here are some of my favourites.

I tried the “full Rodabaugh” on a pair of my stretch jeans that wore right out on one knee. I used that same “jegging” fabric that I used on Ns pants, and I was worried it would be too flimsy, but so far it’s holding. The jeans are very cheerful to wear now.

Jared went through his jeans drawer and came down with a couple of pairs he intended to throw out, so he let me have them for patches. One of them was a pair that I remember buying…. on an odd day that we went to target with some friends, and they all helped us pick them. I loved seeing those jeans on him, and decided to have a go at fixing them.

They had two main holey areas: on the left knee and at the left front pocket. I cut up the other pair for patches. I knew he would not be into such a loud-looking repair as myself, so I found a matching color of embroidery thread and used it all up. So he isn’t allowed to make any more holes in these jeans.

I wasn’t sure he’d be into wearing visibly mended jeans, but he’s pleased me greatly by wearing them all the time.

After this I languished a bit. But last week I made myself knuckle down. I’ve decided that everything in my mending basket has to get fixed before we move. I pulled down the extra basket hiding in the closet and went through that as well. There were several things that just weren’t worth saving, so that lightened the load, but then there were several quick fixes too.

There’s the trio of knee patches, a little simpler than the first one, which look to me like pirate treasure maps. That first patch was overkill; these three together took less time than the first.

There was the interesting learning experience of duplicate stitch in ribbing.

There’s the bias knit scarf, which never really got worn, that I sewed into a spiraling tube, to be a cowl I love so much more than the original. A couple other items were just failed knits; I unraveled them and gave the yarn away.

There’s the hole in the elbow of a beloved old sweater which I fixed with a big external darn to be like an elbow patch. I am of two minds whether to make a matching patch on the other elbow.

There were lots of other little fixes: mostly burst seams that were poorly made to begin with.

I do a mending purge like this every few years – usually right before a big move. It’s very satisfying to get through the pile. Each little mend scratches a little creative itch.

So why do I let it sit so long?

I think it’s that, while I don’t mind the actual work of mending, I dislike having to do mending. It just doesn’t sound like fun, even though it kind of is.

I did myself a favour this time by deciding that I really don’t have to fix everything. There is such a thing as fabric that is just too worn out all over, or that will require too long to fix vs. how much it will be worn and enjoyed. For example, I do not bother with the cheap cotton socks; I just wear them until they’re irredeemably holey then chuck ’em. (That said, if you know where I can get quality cotton socks, I’m all ears.) So some things did get thrown out. But several things didn’t. That will have to be good enough. For now.

What’s left in my mending basket? Several pairs of handknit socks, which I care about, but will be time consuming to mend. Two pairs of my PJ pants, and I can’t decide if either are worth saving. And there are a couple pieces I wear so much that I can’t bear to put them in the basket to moulder, but I should repair them before they get any more damaged.

Here’s hoping, as I always do, that a fresh start leads to better habits!

What have you mended lately?

3 thoughts on “Mend it or Mulch it

  1. Hanes makes good quality cotton socks in white. They hold up very well even when Yarn Rascal gives them a chew.


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